Palace tells PhilHealth, hospitals: Deal with issues over ‘unpaid’ reimbursements

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2021 02:43 AM

The facade of the PhilHealth Head Office in Pasig City on September 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
The facade of the PhilHealth Head Office in Pasig City on September 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—Malacañang on Tuesday urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and health care providers to settle their differences over reimbursement claims.

In a taped briefing on Tuesday night, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque appealed to the state insurer and hospitals to hash out their differences over reimbursements that should be paid to healthcare providers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roque cited a Supreme Court ruling on a case between PhilHealth and the Urdaneta Sacred Heart Hospital in January 2021, in which the top tribunal told healthcare providers to deal with the state insurer "honestly" and avoid malicious acts, such as actively garnering patients to acquire benefits.

PhilHealth was also "exhorted to act with prudence and without any corrupt motives."

"Sana nga po, parehong PhilHealth at ating mga providers will heed the call of the Supreme Court. Balanse naman po sila, dahil kung wala po talaga silang balanse e hindi po magtatagumpay itong Universal Health Care (Act)," Roque said, referring to the law mandating that all Filipinos should receive health services without financial hardship.

On Monday, PhilHealth said its unpaid claims only amounted to P12.9 billion.

But according to the Philippine Hospital Association, the P86 billion was the total amount that hospitals spent on patients without reimbursement from the agency.

Healthcare providers have threatened to disengage from PhilHealth because of unpaid debts.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the state insurer to settle its debt to hospitals as soon as possible so facilities will continue to receive more patients as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the Philippines.

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